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Barbican plans Gaultier-inspired fashion hub in Hackney

The derelict building in Ram Place which will be used for the Beyond Barbican fashion market. The derelict building in Ram Place which will be used for the Beyond Barbican fashion market.

Thursday, March 27, 2014
10:20 AM

Jean Paul Gaultier’s penchant for street fashion will inspire a cutting-edge pop-up market in a derelict building at the heart of Hackney’s fashion hub this summer as part of the Barbican’s outreach programme.

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Jean Paul GaultierJean Paul Gaultier

The Ram Place Fashion Market was ­announced last night at the prestigious arts centre, as part of its ­annual Beyond Barbican programme which sees gigs, festivals and performances beyond the theatre walls.

For nine days in July the roofless warehouse shell in Ram Place, off Morning Lane, will be transformed into a market celebrating contemporary alternative fashion and street style, along with workshops for budding ­designers.

The project will run alongside next month’s exhibition at the Barbican focusing on Jean Paul Gaultier, who was heavily influenced by street fashion, and would travel to London in the 90s to check out what people were wearing in the capital’s clubs.

Director of arts at the Barbican, Louise Jeffreys said: “We chose Hackney partly because that area is going to be developed as a fashion district.

Jean Paul Gaultier's first women's pret a porter collectionJean Paul Gaultier's first women's pret a porter collection

“We thought there was exciting potential to do it there.

“Street fashion is what ordinary people come up with and couture designers tend to notice and turn it into something a bit more bespoke,

“You just need to sit in a café in Hackney and see how people have done amazingly inventive things themselves with their clothes. It might be something picked up from a second hand shop, but some people have talents and can make it look extraordinary.”

Fashion commentator and set designer Jeff Horsley will ­design the space and curate the market to showcase local, emerging and established ­design talent, and will lay on a programme of free activities in the space, which will contain a bar and café.

“It’s going to be a challenge but it’s also a fantastic site. We aren’t going to conceal the fact it’s derelict,” said Mr Horsley.

Free activities will range from workshops led by highly skilled artisans in couture, ­activities and performances hosted by leading fashion world performers, music events and talks on fashion and society.

Stalls will be given to new graduates, east London designers and rising stars of fashion whose work represents or ­reflects London’s contemporary street and club culture.

Arts organisation Create London will recruit 30 local young people who will be mentored by fashion and design employers and benefit from work experience in a project supported by the Mayor’s Fund for London.

Ms Jeffreys said: “It will be really interesting to see whether the concept gathers steam and has a legacy that people want to continue.”

n Ram Place runs from Saturday July 12 to Sunday July 20, from 11am to 10pm daily.

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